FAQ - Impetigo
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I have impetigo on my face, taking oral antibiotics, but should i still remove the scabs with soapy water?

Ive been reading on the internet that with the lotion you should remove the scabs to allow the ointment to get to the bacteria, im just wondering if even though im using the oral antibiotics i should still be washing the scabs still they become soft and come off?

Obviously because its on my face i don't want it to scar.

Usually, the lesions will heal on their own if you are on oral antibiotics. However, if a lesion develops too much pus, and does not improve after several days of oral antibiotics, then you may need to have it incised and drained to remove the pus. Otherwise, if the lesions are shrinking or improving after several days of treatment, then it would be wise to just leave them alone since the scabs will fall off on their own.  (+ info)

how can you tell the difference between impetigo and chicken pox?

  (+ info)

why do i keep getting impetigo on my nose?

I work in a nursery but none of the other staff seem to get it.

who knows? maybe you dont wash your hands enough or your not treating it properly. careful your going to spread it to the kids  (+ info)

what is a natural cure for impetigo?

My 16 month old daughter has impetigo. Last time she had it, we gave her baby vitamins and put hydrocortizone cream on it and it went away in like 2 days. The same treatment isn't working as well this time. What can I do that's NATURAL. I don't want her to have an antibiotic.

Try this link sweetie, really good home remedies on it:


I've used loads of the information on this site, wot with 5 children!! Best part is they're all natural remedies, really cheap, environmentally friendly and no chemicals to harm little bodies!!

PEACE & LIGHT 2 U  (+ info)

How long is impetigo contagious?

I've heard once it crusts over and stops weeping, it's not contagious anymore. I've also heard you must be on antibiotics for 24 hours before it's not contagious. I've also heard 48 hours for the antibiotics. Which is it?

Related concepts:
Bullous impetigo, Nonbullous impetigo, Skin infections, Staph impetigo, Strep impetigo.
Healthy skin is remarkably resistant to infection. It is a powerful barrier, keeping the billions of bacteria outside and your child on the inside. The outer layer, called the stratum corneum or horny layer, is a thin, flexible coat of armor made of the same material as a rhinoceros's horn. The stratum corneum is constantly growing and shedding, moving bacteria outwards. The moving barrier is only completely effective when the skin is dry.

This thin armor can be breached by insect bites, by minor cuts and scrapes, by patches of eczema, or by chronically wet skin from hot muggy weather or hot clothes (diapers). Areas of skin that are red and inflamed, perhaps from rubbing, from a runny nose, or from drool, have a disrupted stratum corneum.

When bacteria enter the skin through a chink in this armor, an infection can result.

What is it?
Impetigo is a contagious bacterial infection of the skin. Parents often describe it as a rash.

Two types of bacteria are the main culprits. Most of the time, streptococcus bacteria (the ones also responsible for strep throat and scarlet fever) or staphylococcus (staph) bacteria cause of impetigo.

Who gets it?
Impetigo is by far most common in infants and young children. They have more colds, more fingers in the nose, more small cuts and scrapes, and more insect bites – all allowing the bacteria to get in.

Children with eczema are even more prone to impetigo.

Chickenpox is a classic time to get impetigo. The pox provide a place for the bacteria to enter the skin and the scratching moves the bacteria inside. That’s one of the reasons why your mother told you not to scratch!

What are the symptoms?
There are two classic forms of impetigo -- with blisters (bullous impetigo) and without blisters (nonbullous impetigo).

Fluid-filled blisters can form on the face, trunk, limbs, or in the diaper area. The blisters break and leak easily, leaving a thin rim of dead skin around a raw, moist sore that may form a scab. Staph is almost always the cause of bullous impetigo.

Impetigo without blisters is most common near the nose, mouth, or ears, but it can occur anywhere on the body. It usually begins as a small red patch or a pimple, which spreads to a larger honey-crusted sore. The infection can spread under the skin and pop up at distant sites. It can also spread to other parts of the body by fingers, clothes, or towels.

This type of impetigo sometimes itches. There may be swollen glands nearby. This type of impetigo is also most commonly caused by staph, but strep are a frequent cause. The staph usually comes from the nose. By contrast, the strep usually arrives on the skin first, causes impetigo, and then may cause strep throat or other strep infections (even kidney disease).

Is it contagious?
Impetigo is quite contagious. It can be spread by touch (contact transmission) and by shared objects, such as towels or washcloths (fomites). Impetigo is teeming with aggressive bacteria, but the bacteria cannot enter someone’s intact, healthy skin. Others can easily catch impetigo if the bacteria encounter a break in their stratum corneum.

Impetigo is contagious until the rash has disappeared, or until it has been treated with antibiotics for two days (with obvious improvement).

How long does it last?
Nonbullous impetigo will usually clear on its own within two weeks (with no scarring). Bullous impetigo will typically last much longer. Both respond well to treatment. Children are no longer contagious after 48 hours of appropriate treatment. Treatment is usually continued for 7-10 days, but most often the rash is no longer visible before then.

How is it diagnosed?
Impetigo is often diagnosed based on the history and physical exam. When there is a question, a culture from one of the sores can reveal the bacteria involved and help to guide treatment.

How is it treated?
Gentle washing can help prevent spread and reoccurrence, but antibiotics are the mainstay of therapy.

Topical antibiotic ointments are very effective for staph impetigo (which is more commonly seen around the nose and on the trunk or arms). Bactroban ointment is the most effective topical antibiotic. It can also work for strep impetigo (more commonly seen on the legs, in the diaper area, and on hot, moist skin), but failures and relapses are more common. Bacteria live under the yellow-brown scabs. If these are present, removing them helps the topical antibiotic to work. Soaking in warm water with a liquid antibacterial soap is usually effective in removing them, but gentle rubbing is sometimes necessary.

Oral antibiotics are a faster and more reliable therapy in stubborn cases of impetigo. They are recommended if the impetigo appears widespread or deep, or if the Bactroban is likely to be licked off.

How can it be prevented?
The best ways t  (+ info)

How long does impetigo last for?

I am on 2 medicnes (cream and oral) will it be somewhat gone in 4-5 days?

It should look better in 4-5 days, but it might not be completely gone.  (+ info)

My little brother has impetigo. Would his school want me to keep him home?

I'm 18 and I have to take care of him when my mom is at work.

Highly contagious...he must stay at home, also all his linen must be washed seperately, he may also need antibiotic cream applied to the sores.
Strict hygiene must be adhered to, hand washing and no picking or scratching the sores.  (+ info)

Is Impetigo still contagious when scabbed?

My brother and I are just wondering since our friend has impetigo again, i know its contagious when oozing.

  (+ info)

Any tips on getting rid of impetigo-my daughter has had 4 lots of it in the same place since Feb-?

It is on her face and I think is related to her runny nose (which is hayfever). She has been on antibiotics but when she stops them it comes back. Thanks
She has had cultures done and they said it is the right antibiotic-and she has cream to put up her nose and fucidin cream for her face-they all work until the end of the course and it comes back overnight.

I would suggest that it might not be impetigo but rather a cold sore. I've seen this many times in my practice as a homoeopath where GPs repeat endless prescriptions for impetigo which is not the correct diagnosis. Just a thought. Take her to a homoeopath who will be able to address both the problem + the overprescribing of antibiotics which will have laid her low. Go to http://www.homeopathy-soh.org/ to find a local practitioner who will be able to help you.  (+ info)

does impetigo start out as little red pimples?

i work at a daycare center and a few kids have little red pimples my thier mout and nose could it be impetigo or just a rash from the cold weather?

YES it starts out that way, around the nose and mouth..and it's HIGHLY contagious..your daycare will have to notify parents and management that the room has been exposed.  (+ info)

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